Chemosphere ( IF 5.778 ) Pub Date : 2020-11-19 , DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.129015 Karina S.B. Miglioranza; Paola M. Ondarza; Patricia G. Costa; Amaro de Azevedo; Mariana Gonzalez; Valeria M. Shimabukuro; Sebastián I. Grondona; Francesca M. Mitton; Ricardo O. Barra; Frank Wania; Giberto Fillmann
XAD-based passive air samplers (PAS) were used to evaluate organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and some current use pesticides (chlorotalonil, trifluralin and dichlofluanid) in the atmosphere of Argentinian Patagonia. The PAS were deployed for 12 months during three consecutive years along a longitudinal (Rio Negro watershed) and a latitudinal (Patagonian coast) transect. Endosulfan, trifluralin and DDT-related substances were the most prevalent pesticides in the Rio Negro watershed, an intensive agricultural basin, consistent with ongoing use of endosulfan at the time of sampling. Concentrations of industrial contaminants were low (mean 25 pg/m3 and 1.9 pg/m3 for Σ38 PCBs, and Σ5PBDEs, respectively) and similar among sites. However, along the Patagonian coast, air concentrations of total contaminants were highly variable (14-400 pg/m3) with highest values recorded at Bahia Blanca, an important industrial area that is also downwind of the most intensively agriculturally used area of Argentina. Contaminant levels decreased toward the south, with the exception of the southernmost sampling site (Rio Gallegos) where a slight increase of total pollutant levels was observed, mainly due to the lower chlorinated PCB congeners. Interannual variability was small, although the last year tended to have slightly higher levels for different contaminant groups at most sampling sites. This large-scale spatial atmospheric monitoring of POPs and some CUPs in the South of Argentina highlights the important and continuing role of rural and urban areas as emission sources of these chemicals.